CHRIS P. TOMARAS
With roots in Messenia, Chris P. Tomaras was born in Piraeus, Greece, where he received his formal schooling. In 1957, while attending the Athens Graduate School of Economics and Business Sciences, he moved to the U.S.
Initially, Mr. Tomaras was involved in a number of entrepreneurial businesses that led to the establishment and successful 20-year operation of the largest Greek food products manufacturer in the U.S. known as “Kronos Foods.” The company was sold in 1994 to a venture capital firm, which continues its successful operation to date. Since the sale, Mr. Tomaras founded Tomaras Investments, Ltd., a private investment firm with holdings in real estate, the money markets and in several operating companies in the U.S. and abroad.
Mr. Tomaras is a philanthropist with significant contributions to several Greek institutions that support Greek education and offer assistance and services to the various Greek communities. In 2008, he donated $1,000,000 to the St. Iakovos Camp and Retreat Center of the Metropolis of Chicago.
With the goal to promote education in young Hellenes as a significant element in the American society, Mr. Tomaras founded what is today the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, which offers annually at least $250,000 in scholarships of $10,000 each to Greek American students in the U.S.
Mr. Tomaras has been named “Distinguished Greek American” and recognized with the “Ellis Island Medal of Honor.” He is an Archon of the Order of St. Andrews of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and a member of Leadership 100. He has served as a member of the Anatolia College Board of Trustees and a founding member of the American Foundation of Hellenic Studies at Georgia State University. In 2003 he became honorary citizen of Panama City, Panama, and in 2004 he was named “Hellene of the Year” by the Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois. In 2010, he received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from the Hellenic College-Holy Cross in Boston, MA.
Mr. Tomaras has served in leadership positions in a number of civic, community and business organizations. He served for 3 consecutive terms as President of the PanMessenian Federation of USA and Canada. He has also served for 5 consecutive 2-year terms as Vice President for North & South America of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (ΣAE), focusing on the needs of the Region’s Greek education efforts, on a just resolution to the occupation of Cyprus, the “Macedonia name” controversy, the Pontian Genocide and other Greece’s national concerns.